The story

Take a look at lessons learned on business development from 7 years’ experience in the 4 Returns community of landscape partners.

Recently, Commonland launched an online learning program (rewatch here) to hear from our landscape partners in Spain, the Netherlands, Australia and South Africa. We went on a so-called Mountain Trail, with amongst others, AlVelAl, Wij.land, Wide Open Agriculture, Living Lands and Grounded. Together, we harvested to find out what our 4 Returns network has learnt about business development over the last 7 years.
Read on to find out our 5 biggest lessons learned.

What is business-driven landscape restoration?

Economic activity is the engine for driving sustainable practices. Business-driven landscape restoration sparks entrepreneurial spirit and generates sustainable financial returns, thereby accelerating a transition towards a local regenerative economy within the carrying capacity of the land.

Why choose business when you want to restore ecosystems?

According to a WWF report, half of the planet’s habitable land is occupied by agriculture. The scale of this land use makes agriculture the largest cause of deforestation and loss of other ecosystems like wetlands and grasslands. Therefore, transforming agriculture is critical for restoring degraded landscapes worldwide. The authors write “drivers linked to food production are the greatest cause of biodiversity loss, both on land as well as in freshwater. At the same time, this makes food an important lever for positive change with great potential for reform, elevating food and agriculture to the top of the conservation agenda.” Food production and agriculture can be transformed through business-driven landscape restoration. Through regenerative business strategies that generate financial return while restoring degraded landscapes.

Learn the 5 lessons for business-driven landscape restoration

The wealth of learning coming from the Mountain Trail has been so rich, that we have divided each lesson into a separate story. You can find the link to each story below. Click through to find out the vital lessons learned about using business as a force for good in landscape restoration.

2163 members are now active on 4returns.earth, connecting, sharing their field experiences, and creating new opportunities and initiatives together.

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Connected content

Connected landscapes

A new Dutch polder landscape


Netherlands (Utrecht)

Active since: 2016

mobilising people

Caring for Country in Western Australia


Australia (Western Australia)

Active since: 2015

finding funds, inspiring community, learning and impact, mobilising people, partnering, regenerating farms, restoring nature

Landscape restoration in India


India (Chhattisgarh)

Active since: 2019

doing business, inspiring community, mobilising people, regenerating farms, restoring nature

Rehabilitating the Langkloof and Baviaanskloof catchments


South Africa (Eastern Cape)

doing business, mobilising people, restoring nature

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